A heartbroken mum says she’s ashamed that her teenage daughter has turned into a ‘horrible person’, and she feels like she’s failed as a mother.

The mum-of-two explained that she and her husband have always loved their daughter unconditionally, and thought they’d done everything possible to raise a great child.

“We raised her as we thought was best: natural childbirth and breastfeeding until 14 months, attachment parenting, positive reinforcement over punishment, home cooked meals enjoyed together, taking her on trips to other countries, leading by example (showing kindness and respect, thanking people and offering help, etc.),” she explained on reddit.

“She is now a well-educated, stunningly beautiful 16-year-old who is a massive, raging asshole. She blatantly puts her needs and desires above everyone else’s, refuses to cooperate if it’s inconvenient to her, hates having to do anything for others, seems to have no empathy, spends all her time in her room listening to music, worries constantly about her looks, spending copious amounts of time applying her makeup every day, hates being looked at by us (she usually shields her face and looks away when we try to speak to her), is paranoid that others are constantly judging her (even random strangers), has no motivation for school work, absolutely zero hobbies or interests (apart from clothes and makeup), won’t sit down to dinner with us anymore or spend any time together unless it’s a car ride to Starbucks or Target.”

‘My heart hurts so much’

In contrast, the mum says her 12-year-old son, who was raised in exactly the same way, is a kind, sweet, respectful, good natured boy who is fun to be around.

“This didn’t happen overnight, and many of these tendencies date back to her childhood (e.g. she was stubborn and shy, never wanted to share with anyone, always tried to get her way). She had a rough time in middle school socially, by the end of which she had given up on having any friends at all.

“Two years into high school she has some friends but rarely hangs out with them and often when they come over, after a while she wants to be alone so she begs me to make up an excuse to get them to leave. She has been through three stints of therapy with different therapists over the past five years, each time ending in failure because she resented having to go, and refused to open up, often lying to the therapist to make things easier on herself.

“I have suggested family therapy but her father is against it (he tends to think this is more normal teenage stuff and that nothing is really wrong with her). I’m ashamed and depressed that my daughter has ended up like this despite everything her father and I did to try to raise a happy, self-confident, and kind person. She is the polar opposite of these things. The worst part is that she is deeply unhappy, and my heart hurts so much to feel powerless to help her.”

The mum has asked if any other parents are dealing with the same issues, and any coping strategies they’ve put in place.

Do you have any advice for this mum? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • I hope its just a bad time and soon that will pass..wishing mum all the best


  • I have no suggestions, only sympathy, compassion and best wishes it passes. My 18yr old is the same: zero empathy, understanding or care for others’ feelings. Lazy and hostile towards me. We’re a very generous and caring house so it’s certainly not a product of her environment. It just seems to be a teenage thing. Good luck!


  • Are you telling me my 14 year old will not have come out of it by 16. Our beautiful girl rarely smiles now and stays in her bedroom a lot. She is seeing a professional because she won’t talk to us. She has no friends at her school (she has one friend from her old school) and spends her free time in the library. And it’s heartbreaking when I think of the happy laughing girl she was two years ago.


  • It’s not too late! She’s in difficult teen years. She will change as she grows into an adult … Hopefully


  • Definitely not too late. Work with her not against her, she’ll appreciate it


  • 16 is a difficult age. Hang on. She will change when she finally grows up.


  • It is never too late… I was that 16 year old girl


  • All you can do is be there for when she needs you. If you are paying for her make-up and clothes she won’t have a reason for getting a part-time job. You could stop paying for these but most of all just be there when she needs you. This is something she needs to process herself and going to therapy sessions is only going to make you someone she won’t confide in. Just be there in the wings waiting


  • I think give it some time and hopefully as she gets a bit older she’ll mature a bit more and find her happy place.
    Maybe a casual job or something would help her come out of her shell a little bit, bit of responsibility etc?


  • Keep the lines of communication open. She will come back to you. I found that we were my son’s safe place so we copped the worst of it and the download from everything he dealt with during the day. Whilst it was hard, knowing that made it easier to understand.


  • Schools now days and teenagers just seem so much worse I am scared for it


  • She will outgrow this stage. My daughter was a brat too but has turned into a beautiful loving caring daughter. it did take a few years to turn things around but we are the best of friends now. I was always there for her and was probably too soft on her and give in a lot but she says now that she was a brat and is sorry for those years but I think it was just age, school, friends etc. One thing that also help turn things around was her getting a job at Woolworths, that made her grow up.


  • I wouldn’t say it’s too late. Unfortunately i think a big part of the self image issue would be social media, there is such a pressure for young people to look and act a certain way. Hopefully after time, support and good amount of talking and space she might open up more


  • Can still turn it around


  • Definitely not too late. At 16 she is still a child with massive emotions.. The teenage years can be super hard. I was a horrible teenager and I still feel bad for some of the things I put my parents through but I had a good upbringing and came around and hopefully so will she. Just make sure she knows you love her no matter what and that you are always there for her even if you are angry over her behaviour.


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